Cover photo for Elaine Kildal's Obituary
1929 Elaine 2022

Elaine Kildal

June 26, 1929 — November 22, 2022

Lengby, MN

Elaine Kildal, age 93, of Lengby, MN, passed away on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at her home. There will not be any service at this time. A celebration of Elaine’s life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Fosston and messages of condolence may be shared at

Ruth ‘Elaine’ Carlson was born on June 26, 1929, in Salem, Wisconsin. She grew up in a large family of 10 kids.

Elaine married William (Bill) Vasilakes of Lengby, Minnesota and together they had 4 children. Throughout their marriage, life took them to various locations, some including California and Illinois, then back to good ole’ northern MN! Throughout the years, she was active in various capacities but being a caregiver to those she loved was always a priority, bringing her the most joy. On top of raising her 4 kids, Elaine and Bill fostered teenage kids as well. She shared many stories about the adventures of raising her ‘crew’.

When life found Elaine with her children all raised and ‘single’ once again, she moved to Montana for new adventures and to live close to her daughter, Shirley. In 1998, she once again moved back to Lengby, this time coming to the aid of her son, Mike, to assist in the caregiving of his then wife, Carol, as she battled cancer. Elaine resided in Lengby throughout the remainder of her life.

While in Lengby, Elaine loved being a part of her community by donating her time with the Lengby Improvement Club for many years, spent time on the Lengby City Council, and was an active member of her church, Fridhem Lutheran.

Elaine enjoyed cooking for others, which included her putting on a large Thanksgiving feast at the age of 87 for 10 people. She took great pride and joy in setting a beautiful table and serving others. When in some of these types of crowds, she was a great listener. Often times, someone would teasingly tell her to “stop talking so much” and one day, her retort was “you can’t learn much if you’re the one flappin’ your lips”! How true that statement is!

In the midst of covid, Shirley got Elaine involved in making masks, double layered and with the specified lining. They made well over 500 of them to give to all that wanted or needed them; helping others during that troubling time gave her great joy.

Elaine was a no-nonsense, lovingly stubborn woman that loved deeply and sincerely. Her children and grandchildren brought her great joy, which was so obvious by the photos scattered throughout her home. She also was one that gave joy to those around her.

Elaine passed away quietly in her home in Lengby as she slept on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

She was preceded in death by her parents, many siblings, her grandson Will, daughter-in-law Carol and many other family and friends.

She is survived by her brother Pat (Cheryl) Carlson, sisters Betty (Lou) Walner and Ellen ‘Tikey’ Griggs, all 4 of her children: Steve (Nancy) Vasilakes, Shirley Vasilakes, Dave (Julie) Vasilakes and Mike (Carla) Vasilakes, 12 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

The family would like to thank her granddaughter, Lenore, and Sharon Goldsmith, Marilyn Smith, and Gordy Ringstad for their years of consistent visits, love and care that they showered upon Elaine. Thanks also to the Polk County Sheriff’s Department for the kindness and compassion given to the family during such a difficult time.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elaine Kildal, please visit our flower store.


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